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Glowing Ice Cubes Warn People on Excessive Drinking

technology

MIT student Dhairya Dand has designed smart ice cubes to let drinkers know if they've gone past their limit

Sara Roncero-Menendez
  • 23 july 2014

It can be tough to know when you’ve finally had enough to drink, since by the time you’ve reached your limit you are no longer thinking coherently. It’s often up to friends, fellow patrons or even the bartender to keep you from downing yet another drink and keeping you from harm’s way. Not only is it an embarrassing experience but one that can potentially damage your relationships and reputation down the line. Those days might soon be over now, thanks to special smart ice cubes created at MIT.

Drawing from his own inebriated experiences, MIT Media Lab student Dhairya Dand will help many drinkers know when they’ve had enough with a project entitled Cheers, which are essentially smart ice cubes that measure how much a person has had to drink. Each smart cube contained a colored LED light, an accelerometer, IR receivers and a battery. It is enveloped in edible, waterproof jelly to keep the inner working dry without altering the flavor of your favorite drink.

The way it works is fairly simple. The accelerometer calculates the number of sips a person takes and compares it with a timer in an attempt to calculate their level of intoxication. From there, the green light of the ice cube will turn yellow, then red. If the person continues to imbibe, the cube will flash red and send a text message to a designated buddy who will take appropriate action. While it may not alway be a perfect estimate, since people have different tolerances depending on their sex, height and weight, it will provide a good estimate for when someone’s had enough.

Having a way to tell a drinker to slow down or stop will help prevent alcohol poisoning and passing out.This device will also be useful to alert bartenders or party hosts as to when the drinker has had too much and can cut them off and make alternative arrangements for them to get home. These smart ice cubes may be small but their impact could be huge, saving the lives of the people who never quite know their limit.

Cheers

[h/t] Gizmag

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